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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  September 17, 2009 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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you are watching live coverage, the invocation for president obama to award the medal of honor posthumously to sergeant first class jared c. monti, lost his life fighting in afghanistan. let's listen. >> would you comfort jared's parents, paul and janet, his brother and sister, tim and nicole and fellow soldiers who fought alongside him in afghanistan with the assurance that jared's climb to glory did not end until he safely and securely fell into your everlasting arms. may we and all of who hear of jared's sacrificial service never cease to give thanks and pray diligently for the young men and women of our armed services who like jared, stand in harm's way, even at this moment, protecting, supporting and defending our great nation. this we pray in your most holy
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name, amen. >> amen. >> please be seated. good afternoon. and welcome to the white house. of all the privileges of serving as president, there is no greater honor than serving as commander in chief of the finest military that the world has ever known. and of all the military declarations that a president and a nation can bestow, there is none higher than the medal of honor. it has been nearly 150 years since our nation first presented this medal for conspicuous galantry, intrepidity, action at risk in life and action above and beyond the call of duty. in nearly those 150 years, through civil war, two world
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wars, korea and vietnam, desert storm and somalia, afghanistan and iraq and countless battles in between, tens of millions of americans have worn the uniform. but fewer than 3500 have been recognized with the medal of honor. and in our time, these remarkable americans are literally one in a million. and today, we recognize another, sergeant first class jared c. monti. the medal of honor reflects the admiration and gratitude of the nation. so we are joined by members of congress, including from sergeant monti's home state of massachusetts, senators john kerry and congressman barney frank. we are joined by our secretary of defense, robert gates, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullin, and leaders from across the armed
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forces. we are joined by the leaders of the army, to which sergeant monti dedicated his life, secretary pete guerin, our incoming secretary confirmed by the senate last night, john mccue. chief of staff, general george casey. sergeant major of the army, ken preston. and jared's fellow soldiers and commanders from the legendary 10th mountain division. and we are joined by those who now welcome sergeant monti into their storied ranks, members of the medal of honor society. but today is not about high officials and those with stars on their shoulders. it's a celebration of a young soldier and those who loved him, who made him into the man he was and who join us today. his mother, janet, his father, paul, his brother, tim, and his sister, nicole. and from his grandmother, marjorie, to his 6-year-old
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niece, karise, and cousins, aunts and uncles from across america, more than 120 proud family and friends. duty, honor, country, service, sacrifice, heroism, these are words of weight, but as people, as a people and as a culture, we often invoke them lightly. we toss them around freely. but do we really grasp the meaning of these values? do we truly understand the nature of these virtues, to serve and to sacrifice? jared monti knew. the monti family knows. and they know that the actions we honor today were not a passing moment of courage. they were the culmination of a life of character and commitment. there was jared's compassion. he was the kid at school who,
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upon seeing a student eating lunch alone, would walk over and befriend him. he was the teenager who cut down a spruce tree in his yard so a single mom in town would have a christmas tree for her children. he even bought the ornaments and the presents. he was a soldier in afghanistan who received care packages, including fresh clothes, and gave them away to afghan children who needed them more. there was jared's perseverance. cut from the high school basketball team, he came back next year and the next year and the next year, three times, finally making varsity and outscoring some of the top players. told he was too young for the military, he joined the national guard's delayed entry program as a junior in high school. and that summer, while other kids were at the beach, jared was doing drills. there was jared's strength and skill, its championship wrestler and triathlete who went a off to
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basic training, just 18 years old, and then served with distinction as a forward observer, with the heavy responsibility of calling in air strikes. he returned from his first tour in afghanistan highly decorated, including a bronze star and army commendation medal for valor. and there was jared's deep and abiding love for his fellow soldiers. maybe it came from his mom, who was a nurse. maybe it came from his dad, a teacher. guided by the lesson he is le-- lessons he learned at home, jared became an nco, dedication and teaching the troops. he called them his boys, although he was still young himself, some of them called him grandpa. compassion, perseverance, strength, a love for his fellow soldiers. those are the value that define
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jared monti's life and the values he displayed in the actions we recognize here today. it was june 21, 2006, in the remotest northeast of afghanistan, near the border with pakistan. sergeant monti was a team leader on a 16-man patrol. they had been on the move for three days, down dirt roads, sloshing through rivers, hiking up steep mountain trails, their heavy gear on their a backs. moving at night and in the early morning to avoid the scorching 100-degree heat. their mission, to keep watch on the valley down below in advance of an operation to clear the area of militants. those who were there remember that evening on the mountain. iraqi ridge, not much bigger than this room. some were standing guard knowing they had been spotted by a man in the valley. some were passing out mres and water. there was talk of home and plans for leave. jared was overheard remembering
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his time serving in korea. then, just before dark, there was a shuffle of feet in the woods and that's when the tree line exploded in a wall of fire. one member of the patrol said it was like thousand of rifles crackling, bullet he is and heavy machine gun fire ricocheting across the rocks. rocket-propelled grenades raining down. fire so intense that weapons were shot right out of their hands. within minutes, one soldier was killed, another was wounded. everyone dove for cover, behind a tree, a rock, a stonewall. this patrol of 16 men was facing a force of some 50 fighters. outnumbered, the risk was real. they might be overrun. they might not make it out alive. that's when jared monty did what he was trained to do. with the enemy advancing, so close they could hear their voices, he got on his radio and started calling in artillery.
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when the enemy tried to flank them, he grabbed a gun and drove them back. and when they came back again, he tossed a grenade and drove them back again. and when these american soldiers saw one of their own, wounded and lying in the open some 20 yards away, exposed to approaching enemy, jared monti did something no amount of training can instill. his patrol leader said woe go, but jared said, "no, he is my soldier. i'm going to get him." it was written long ago that the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them. glory and danger alike. and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it. jared monti saw the danger before him and he went out to meet him. he handed off his radio. he tightened his chin strap. and with his men providing cover, jared rose and started to run into all those incoming
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bullets, into all those rockets. upon seeing jared, the enemy in the woods unleashed a fire storm. he moved low and fast, yard after yard, then dove behind a stone wall. a moment later, he rose again, and again they fired everything they had at him, forcing him back. faced with overwhelming enemy fire, jared could have stayed where he was, behind that wall. but that was not the kind of is soldier jared monti was. he embodied that creed all soldiers strive to meet, "i will always place the mission first. i will never accept defeat. i will never quit. i will never leave a fallen comrade." and so, for a third time, he rose. for a third time, he ran toward his fallen comrade. said his patrol leader, "it was the bravest thing i had ever seen a soldier do." they say it was a
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rocket-propelled grenade that jared made -- made it within a few yards of his wounded soldier. they say that his final word there is on that ridge far from home were of his faith and his family. "i've made peace with god. tell my family that i love them." and then as the artillery that jared had called in came down, the enemy fire slowed, then stopped. the patrol had defeated the attack, they had held on, but not without a price. by the end of the night, jared and three others, including the soldier he died trying to save, had given their lives. i'm told that jarred was a very humble guy that he would have been uncomfortable with all this attention, that he would say he was just doing his job and that he'd want to share this moment with others who were there that day. and so as jared would have wanted, we also pay tribute to those who fell alongside him. staff sergeant patrick liebert,
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private first class brian bradbury, staff sergeant keith crate. and we honor all the soldiers he loved and who loved him back, among them, noncommissioned officers who remind us why the army has designated this the year of the nco in honor of all those sergeants who are the backbone of america's army. they are jared's friends and fellow soldiers watching this ceremony today in afghanistan. they are the soldiers who, this morning, held their own ceremony on an afghan mountain at the post that now bears his name, combat outpost monti. and they are his voice, surviving members of jared's patrol from the 10th mountain division, who are here with us today. and i would ask them all to please stand. [ applause ]
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like jared, these soldiers know the meaning of duty and of honor, of country. like jareded, they remind us all that the price of freedom is great. and by their deeds, they challenge every american to ask this question, what can we do to be better citizens? what can we do to be worthy of such service and such sacrifice? sergeant first class jared c. monti, in his proud hometown, his name graces streets and scholarships, across a grateful
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nation, graces parks and military posts, from this day forward, he will grace the memorials to our medal of honor heroes. and this week, when jared monti would have celebrated his 34th birthday, we know that his name and legacy will live forever and shine brightest in the hearts of his family and friends who will love him always. may god bless jared monti, and may he comfort the entire monti family. and may god bless the united states of america. [ applause ] janet, paul, would you please join me at the podium for the reading of the citation.
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>> the president of the united states of america authorized by act of congress, march 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of congress, the medal of honor to staff sergeant jared c. monti, united states army. for conspicuous galantry and intrep intrepidity, for risking his life above and beyond the call of duty. sergeant jared c. mon try, above the and beyond "the call" of duty by serving as a team leader with headquarters and headquarters troops, 3rd squadron, third brigade combat team, 10th mountain division in connection with combat operations against an enemy in afghanistan on june 21, 2006.
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while staff sergeant monti was leading a mission aimed at gathering intelligence and directing fire against the enemy, his 16-man patrol was attacked by as many as 50 enemy fighters. on the verge of being overrun, staff sergeant monti quickly directed his men to set up a defensive position behind a rock formation. he then called for indirect fire support, accurately targeting the rounds upon the enmy who had closed to within 50 meters of his position. while still directing fire, staff sergeant monti personally engaged the enemy with his rifle and grenades, successfully disrupting an attempt to flank his patrol. staff sergeant monti then realized that one of his soldiers of lying wounded in the open ground between the advancing enemy and the patrol's position. with complete disregard for his own safety, staff sergeant monti twice attempted to move from behind the cover of the rocks into the face of relentless enemy fire to rescue his fallen
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comrade. determined not to leave his soldier, staff sergeant monti made a third attempt to cross open terrain through intense enemy fire. on this final attempt, he was mortally wounded, sacrificing his own life in an effort to save his fellow soldier. staff sergeant monti's selfless acts of heroism inspired his patrol to fight off the larger enemy force. staff sergeant monti's immeasurable courage and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, head quartzers and headquarters troop, 3rd squadron, 71st calvary regiment, third brigade combat team, 10th mountain division and the united states army.
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>> please join me in a prayer. lord, as we conclude this ceremony, keep us mindful of the eternal reward we attain by devoting our time, our energy and even our very lives on behalf of others. use sergeant jared monti's legacy of selflessness, sacrifice and service to challenge and inspire all of dust to do the same for our fellow citizens for generations to come. may we remain forever gateful, for american patriots, like jarred monti,s who selfless acts of service kept our nation the land of the free and the home of the brave. lord, may your devine favor and wisdom rest on our president, barack obama, as he continues to
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lead us to grateness. bless the members of our armed service and their families and god bless america, we pray in your holy name, amen. >> amen. >> the parents of staff sergeant jared monti exwho was just 30 years old when he was killed in action in afghanistan trying to save the life of the soldiers he called his boys. you heard the president there refer to the fact that sometimes they called him grand patch. he is described as a humble human being, someone with a big heart and a real dedication to the job at hand. and someone who was also very conflicted about the job at hand, that he -- he felt conflicted every time he took a life in afghanistan. today, the president awarding the medal of honor to sergeant first class jared c. monti. with me now, retired army colonel jack jacobs, who is also
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a recipient of the medal of honor. what are your thoughts watching the parents receive this award posthumously, their son shot down? a terrible thing. nobody should outlive his children but this -- having known the parents of other recipients who received the award posthumously, meeting them from time to time at medal of honor functions, i know that there is a great deal of pride in knowing that there -- the acts of their children have become inspirations for others, not just in the military but also for other people who hear of their acts and recognize that they are not acts necessarily of physical courage, but instead, acts of moral courage and that we all have to make contributions to our own communities every opportunity we have, not just a question of fixing bayonets and charging the enemy, lots of things that have to be done every day everywhere in the united states, and these -- this is a motivation those people are doing.
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>> to put this into perspective, jared monti, one of the stories the president just told is how he would receive a care package with fresh clothes in it and he would turn around and give it away to afghan people, afghan children that he cared deeply about the people he was going into. there are stories that are told that even in these remote provinces of afghanistan, he was the guy that tribal elders would want to meet with, with an interpreter to try to work out a deal with them. and on a dark mountain ridge one night in 2006, he and his guys were ambushed by tribespeople who were aligned with the taliban at that point. one of his men gets shot and jared monte would not leave him there even though rpgs were flying and bull prets flying, went in after him. surely, that kind of valor and bravery happens repeatedly on the battlefield and yet we are only seen -- this is the sixth medal of honor that was awarded
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since 2001. >> there hasn't been a medal of hon air warded to a living recipient for any conflict since vietnam. and there is a number of reasons for that but the two principal ones is up until now the large majority of the conflict has been different than the kind of conflict we have experienced in previous wars. there has been up until now, less and less toe-to-he toe fighting and less man knewering against the enemy and enemy man knewering against our forces. and as a result, less instances in which the kind of val they're we see with sergeant monty could be recognized. second, any award of any kind and any human endeavor is purely subjective. at the end of the day, any living recipient, indeed any recipient for any accolade in the military says one thing, he doesn't wear it for himself, he wear it is for all those who can't. think of all the people who
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perform valor rousely in combat and nobody saw them or they themselves did it and they were killed. i think this kind of -- this kind of situation in which we see somebodies who ey whose exp shown by the media, everyone should look at how he comports himself in his own life and decided he is going to do better. >> 30-year-old staff sergeant jared c. monti was a brother to nicole and timothy, an uncle to karis and a son to paul and jappet monti, just 30 years old when shot down in battle. today, president obama awarded him posthumously the medal of honor. we will be right back. . sfx:racking of a taillight. female valve: hahahaha...i am strong like the ox.
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it is the economy on msnbc. looking at wall street and the markets, it looks like, down across-the-board. seeing the dow jones down 11 points, s & p off 3.75. nasdaq down 8 today. we are seeing glimmers of hope on the economic front today. the number of americans filing first-time claim for jobless benefits has fallen unexpectedly, shows the job market may be, may be beginning to stabilize. weekly filings at the lowest point in two months and housing construction a has risen to the highest level in nine months energy part, because of new apartment building development. joining us, russell pearlman, senior markets editor for smart money magazine. good to see you today. >> thanks for having me. > how do you read the numbers out on the economic front, housing and jobs? >> the flip side, thing aren't falling off a cliff. this is not like six months ago, looked like we were going to get into the great depression part two. in that regard, things are
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pretty good. that said, we still saw 545,000 people file jobless claims for the first time last week, that is not particularly good, half a million people lose their jobs in a particular week. so that is not particularly good but at least, as you said it down from a month or two months ago. fewer people losing their job. it it is less worse. >> less worse. >> economic term. >> same thing are with housing here, gradually seeing people start building, particularly apartment buildings here. >> funny the significance to me, looks like that sort of counter balances the lack of construction we are seeing in single-family homes but if people are building apartment buildings doesn't that mean, like, hey, i think people are going to be able to afford to rent what i have to offer? >> that is right. you have seen builders here, they are not stupid, like, wait a minute, people can't afford to put down $400,000 for a house but maybe they can put down $1,000 for an apartment. so, they are starting to build apartments. at least they are building in that regard, so you are actually
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putting some construction folks to work n that regard that is pretty good. also, you are seeing inventories of houses, of vacant houses go down a little bit because builders, again, are cutting the price on homes so they can actually sell the houses. >> russell pearlman, thanks a lot for coming in, i appreciate that. >> thank you j one thing to pay a little extra to score more leg room or get a hot meal when you fly, but did you know 15% of the airfare is something you never use? tom costello joins us from washington, d.c. i know there was an vision between nbc and "usa today." what did you determine? >> reporter: the airlines say on a typical airline ticket, up to 30% is made up of airline taxes and fees, however, here is the issue. did you know that you, as an airline passenger, are help pentagon pay for airports that only service private airplanes? airports you and i rarely use and probably won't even visit? it doesn't matter where you're flying, those bargain airline
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tickets have a way of getting pricey a $300 ticket can jump to $365 once you add in federal and local taxes and fees a chunk of that money goes to build and maintain commercial airports, but also, airports for private planes. now, a "usa today" review finds $1 billion in airport ticket taxes this year will go to nearly 2,000 little-used airports that offer no commercial service, airports most of us never use. >> it is outrageous to think that the customers on our flights are being asked to support general aviation airports that will never see a commercial flight. it is tax policy gone awry. >> reporter: week williamsburg, kentucky, a new 5500-foot runway, but no commercial flights. stafford county, virginia, an hour from d.c., 55 private flights a day, no commercial service. and queen city airport in allentown, pennsylvania, where
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just a handful of small planes come and go every day, many practicing touch and goes, at a controversial airfield. more than two 200 acres of prime real estate near downtown allen up to. the city say it is it were sold off and developed, it could generate millions in extra tax revenue and millions more forle school district. >> for this land to sit here really for the benefit of 40 individual individuals 40 private plane owners i think is an out rage. >> reporter: an route rage says the mayor because five mile away is lehigh valley international airport. which offers both commercial and general aviation. so, would it make sense to consolidate both airports? no, says the airport authority. allentown needs both airports and even a third, not far away. >> about maintaining balance in the system. in order to do that you literally have to have facilities spread out over certain geographic systems.
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>> reporter: should airline passengers pay for small, unused airports that don't offer commercial service? private pilots say yes, whether a person flies or not it is in everyone's interest to see all airports are safely and adequately maintained. >> the reality that these small airports don't have the money. >> reporter: the government says we need this national infrastructure of airports, not only commercial airport bus also private airports but the question isn't if question we need them but who should pay for them and if we need them is it fair u.s. airline passengers pay the entire bill or most of it? should we have it spread out so the whole country pays for it. guess who gets to make that decision, congress. and every member of congress has one of these in he is or her backyard and nobody wants to be accused of raising taxes. back to you. >> i bet you people are going to be scrutinizing what they are spending to on those taxes and fees after the report.
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tom, thanks. >> more in "usa today," by the way. >> we will look it up there. >> i meant to say, more at usa today. all right. toyota is calling for inspections of floor mats following a deadly accident. the automaker is telling dealers inspect how floor mats are installed because a california highway patrol officer and three family members died when a mat on a lexus sedan may have jammed the accelerator. hmm. this week, msnbc will air a special town hall meeting called "about our children" featuring bill cosby a live event focusing to on poverty in america, how it affects poverty, education and health. here is a preview. >> i can't find any employment that is my main concern. >> we have a day care on site it is good because you can drop your kid cans off at 8 and don't have to pick them up until 4:30, you can go off and search for work, you can't find employment if you have kids, you know? >> for many women living in poverty, depression is a common,
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undiagnosed risk factor. i'm joined by another featured panelist. terry williams is author of "black pain, a personal no-nonsense look at depression, especially among african-americans." it strikes me that if you're struggling with caring for children, perhaps unemployment, trying to make ends meet that no wonder depression becomes an obvious issue for so many families nationwide. >> there's absolutely no question. and so many of us, contessa, are ill-equipped to deal with the signs of depression and quite frankly, we don't really know what it looks like, what it feels like what it sounds like, and we don't really recognize that there's help available and that we can get that we can get the help, we can be treated. and our children are the most vulnerable among us. and i think the work that we do through the stay strong foundation, and we have a wellness program, we try to make available mental health services to children and to mothers and fathers and care takers and
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mentors, because the only way that we are going to build a healthier nation is to make sure that our young people are getting the help that they need. we need to teach them at an early able how to deal with their emotions. and i think, you know that the most revolutionary thing that we as adults can do is to not only just share our vulnerabilities with our young and not pretend to be the strong one all the time, but to -- when they ask us, mommy, dad dudy, are you sad, at that moment, we have to be honest with them, because kids are smart. they miss nothing. so we say to them, yes, mommy is a little sad today and these are some of the things i do when i'm sad. i cry it is a healthy release. i talk to a therapist. i go exercise. i go for a walk, i write in my journal a.m. but when we lie to them, we are teaching them that that's how you go through life, hide your emotion he is and don't -- don't tell the truth. >> and it's interesting that you say that because i have seen the public awareness campaign that
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says when people address depression by saying, well, just snap out of it or pull yourself up by your bootstraps, would you say that to someone who was suffering from a disease like cancer? no you wouldn't. and depression really is an illness that needs to be treated by professionals. it is really s you know, by the year 2020, it will be the number one killer behind heart disease because it -- because everyone wears the mask and there's such a stigma associated with depression that we have to begin to dispel that and to get people to share their stories with one another, because that's when the healing starts. and again, we have a production called the open book, we go through the country can. it is an opportunity for people to read testimonials of others who are experiencing depression and how they got through it and then create a safe space for people to get up and share their stories with one another. >> all right, terrie, good of you to join us, i appreciate you joining us. >> thank you.
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>> tune into msnbc this sunday for "about our children" a live event featuring bill cosby and moderated by michelle bernard. we will discuss poverty in america, focus on parenting, health issues and education, see that from 7 to 9 p.m. on msnbc gentleman. some breaking news coming in right now from capitol hill. the house has voted overwhelmingly to defund a.c.o.r.n. the community action group has been under fire over hidden camera interviews in, which among other things, a couple posing as a pump and prostitute on how to get housing acyst taps. the house action was bipartisan. more than 300 members voted to defund the group. goes further than, than the senate did, which took money out of one bill. the house vote takes money out away completely for any money the house would appropriate. a tough economy is hitting the restaurant industries hard, owners facing the crunch others do diners are choosing cheaper restaurants or eating at home.
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according to some industry analysts estimates, as many as 18,000 restaurants will close this year. of a verge on the green, not close bug just filed for bankruptcy. the famed rainbow room in new york has closed. but websites like twitter and facebook are actually helping restaurants save their marketing dollars. the national dining editor with city search, good of you to join us today, josh. how does it work? >> basically, waugh tonight know about restaurants and food every second of the day, so, you sign up as a twitter follower to a restaurant our sign up as a fan on their facebook page. so then you're constantly getting updates. and then at city search, we are following all these places and we will often retweet the most interesting ones, so you get them from us, too. >> so not just that you are helping your loyal customers follow what's new, maybe if there are price cuts or menu changes, but that you also are attracting the attention of food critics who can get the message out to more people? >> yes, that's right.
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taste makers like myself t is funny, it is true. there is all these weird, interesting things, like there is this one place downtown that had a big goat out front. >> yeah. >> the goat got stolen, so there was a twitter who stole the goat. so that was a story that got picked up by the blogs and so forth. >> in terms of marketing and advertising dollars, i'm assuming if you're faced with a budget crunch, as a restaurant, you want to save your dollars for where it really works, twitter and facebook can be free. >> totally free. i mean, if you're sitting there at home worrying about go out of business you could easily be twittering. thought of imagine native things, during fashion week, if you mention a twitter feed, you get a free glass of cava, if you don't, we are out of it. we hired a social networking, like a person at city search, whose whole job is to think about social networking and keep on top of all this stuff. >> interesting, josh, thanks for bringing us the story. >> sure. >> appreciate that. by the way, folks, i'm on twitter and facebook, you can
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reach me,, contessa brewer, i know y'all have opinions, love to share them. and you can get me on facebook at msnbc. hope to see you there. what if you could capture the fresh taste of broccoli in a luscious soup? v8 garden broccoli. from campbell's. velvety, delicious. campbell's v8 soups. also, try new garden vegetable blend.
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if you don't have health insurance, the second part of this plan will finally afford to offer you quality, affordable choices. so, if you lose your job or change jobs, you will be able to get coverage. if you decide you want to start your own business, you will still be able to get coverage. >> the impact of health care on america's workforce a major point at today's rally for reform at the university of maryland. secretary of commerce gary locke took the stage just before president obama. >> rising health care costs are making it hard aer for american companies to sell their products and services here at home or around the world, faced with
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competitors from other countries. >> secretary locke joins me now live. i have been inundated here with messages from viewers who say they feel trapped in the jobs that they currently have because that's where they get insurance and small business owners who say, look, i'm on the verge of being unable to offer my employees health insurance because my premiums keep rising. how big a a problem is this for the entrepreneurs of our nation? >> this is really crushing american companies, and especially small and medium-sized companies. small companies make up 95% of all the workers in our country. and they are reporting increases. last year alone, on average, 15% higher costs for health insurance for the same coverage. several company that i was talked to this year have reported that their health insurance companies want to charge 27 to 30% more for exactly the same coverage. that's gonna crush american companies. it is going to keep them from growing, expanding, or hiring people. it's going to make them less competitive to sell their prod
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dungs and services here or around the world in competition with companies from other parts of the world. we have got to get a handle on health care control. on health care costs. >> you look at that trajectory and you can see the logical conclusion it becomes unestablishable, point the president has made on down the line. however, here is the chamber of commerce, the national chamber has fought hard against a lot of these reforms if this were so good for small business why would the chamber of commerce, whose mission it is to help business why would they fight it? >> i think they have some concerns with various aspects of the proposals that we have seen through congress and idea now is to get all these committees together, democrats and republicans to offer amendments and really try to get the best of possible health care reform package, health insurance reform package we can. i think there's a great deal of agreement, perhaps 80% of it. so let's not lose sight of the good things and let's make it even better. but the companies that i've talked to are clamoring for health care reform, health
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insurance reform. en. >> when you look at some of the different plans off nerd committee and most recent one we have been talking about is senator baucus' proposal, for instance, there would be tax credits for small businesses that offer insurance to their employees but also this free ride provision that if your employees can't afford your insurance and they have to go onto the public exchanges or get the tax credits, then you're going to have to pay a fee. is there anything in any of these that strikes you as particular particularly applicable to helping small business succeed? >> first of all, the president very much believes that all small businesses should be exempt from any mandatory provision requirement to offer health insurance. and that covers some 95%. >> what would you consider small? >> under 50 employees. under 50 employees would be considered a small business works not be required to offer health insurance to their employees, but if they do virtually all, virtually all of those small businesses under the
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president's plan would be eligible for a 50% tax credit or tax writeoff on the costs. now if companies still don't want to offer health insurance and not required to but if they do virtually all are eligible for a tax cut, but if they don't, then the employees would be eligible and would be required to get health care insurance and could buy low cost health insurance by going onto an exchange, which is almost like joining a large pool of other people so that you have the purchasing power equal to the purchasing power of a large corporation, because we know that, you know, for people to buy it individually or small businesses, oftentimes, they pay 20% more for the same coverage that a large corporation is able to buy it for. >> secretary locke it is good of to you spend a few minutes with us today, i appreciate your time. >> thank you very much, contessa. well, she is fed up and she is fired up, for sure, a california woman says bank of america won't get any more of her money, because it kept raising the interest rate on her credit card. now, it stands at more than 30%
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n a video posted on youtube, ann minch lashed out. >> successful, this would be the proverbial first shot fired in american debtor's revolution against the usery and plunder perpetrated by the banking eleerkt the federal reserve and the federal government. >> the self-proclaimed loyal customer says she won't pay another dime, she is calling for others to join her debtor's revolt. ann is on the phone with me right now. what exactly are you hoping to get accomplished here, ann? >> i would like to accomplish for the banks to stop plund earthquake the american taxpayer. the banks created the economic mess they are n the tax pairs bailed them out to the tune of trillions and now they are trying to take more money from us, the loyal customers especially, and people who aren't behind on their credit card payments and haven't missed any payments.
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now this is just usery and extortion and got to stop. >> now, did you ever miss a payment? >> no. >> were you ever late on your payment? >> no in fact, when i called the customer service department to try and negotiate my rate, you know, back the way it was, they verbally acknowledged aid very good payment history and there was no problem with my payments. >> and how much do you currently owe on that credit card? >> about $5900. >> what do you think happens should you just stop making payments on that? what consequences do you expect to face? >> well, i know that it's a probably going to affect my credit in a negative way, but since the banks aren't loaning money anyway and i'm not planning on buying a house soon since i don't have a real secure job right now, what's the point in even having good credit? although i will continue to pay my other bills and i will continue to pay bank of america,
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if and when they put my credit -- my -- >> interest rate. >> percentage back at 12.99%. >> well, ann, i appreciate you taking some time to explain where you're coming from, because your video sure is getting a lot of attention. good luck to you. >> thank you very much. coming up, playing pool with jj ramburg. not the gam that makes the story interesting, it's what's made after those pool tables are finally built. the story ahead on it's the economy. my doctor told me something i never knew. as we get older, our bodies become... less able to absorb calcium.
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well, from saw dust to big buck, small businesses are having to get crafty to survive this economy, adapting their business models for new sources of revenue. this weekend on "your business" jj ramburg tells the story of two entrepreneurs who found the answer to bringing in new basicallying right on the floor of their wood shop. >> we had a fella come in,
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interested in a pool table, came into the wood shop here, saw the saw dust on the floor said, hey, lack at this saw dust, you guys should make wood pellet he is, got us thinking, wood pellets, what are yours? >> jj ram buburg joins us now. what are wood pellets? >> the company made pool tables and companies aren't spenting $1800 to buy something like this in this economy and the revenue drops 50%. and find a way to make saw dust with a ton of it you can make wood pellets that go into stoves to heat your house and now that is making up 40% of their revenue. >> so, if they are not making pool tables, though where are they getting the saw dust? are it they going to other places and -- >> no, no, still making the pool tables that is who they are, they are a pool table manufacturer, but they had to find a which to make more money because people weren't buying pool tables and they found it right there brilliant. >> are there lessons and conclusions that could be drawn for other businesses in the same
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boat? >> there are a lot. we have a pretty lively debate again this weekend, about this. one is don't be -- don't have tunnel vision, look for other twice make money. on the other hand, look for ways that are compatible with the business you already have. is saw dust compatible? we have a debate about it on our show. >> by the way, i also know that you're doing a segment on small businesses and swine flu. given the a attention that we have paid about how many people could get sick, what are they doing? >> this is a big deal for small business, because if you lose a few of your employees homesick that could affect your business. the department of homeland security says here is what you do make sure off plan, make sure people can work from home, someone who will coordinate this, get people to wash their hands and few other suggestions. >> jj, thank you. watch "your business" every sunday at 7:30 a.m. good to see you. >> thank you. that wraps up "it's the economy." norah owe donell are sitting in
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for david and tamron. coming up, a fresh look at the former president and insights into his turbulent years in office. a suspect arained in the murder of annie le. what are we learning about him in the very latest on msnbc. ♪ (announcer) transform your water. women who drink crystal light drink 20% more water. crystal light. make a delicious change. without my makeup. now, it's no problem. (announcer) neutrogena tone correcting night serum with high performance soy to even skin tone and active retinol to speed cell turn over. clinically shown to visibly fade brown spots in 14 nights. i even out my skin at night so it looks younger, flawless in the morning. (announcer) neutrogena tone correcting now you can fade and prevent discolorations all day. new tone correcting spf 30.
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